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How can I avoid stressing out about my aneurysm?

It is common to feel anxious after receiving the diagnosis of an aortic aneurysm. Let me assure you that the aneurysm did not occur overnight. You have been living with it for some time now. The rate of growth is very slow, and not all aneurysms progress to dissection. Of course, we understand this is a stressful time. The most important advice is to not rush into surgery. Seek a few opinions.

Find a hospital and a surgeon with whom you are comfortable and then get psychologically on board with the procedure. There is no reason to expect less than a perfect recovery and a normal quality and length of life after the procedure.

In the meantime, live a more serene life! Avoid stress as much is possible. The prospect of having an operation in your future is stressful enough. There is no need to make it worse.

When an aneurysm is over 5 cm, blood pressure should be aggressively controlled. Avoid doing anything to raise your blood pressure above 120/80. That means not over-scheduling. It means not rushing to make the train or flight. It means not having multiple play-dates with tight connections for pickup and drop-off. It means not arriving five minutes before the doors close to the movie or play.

In addition, you need to avoid the exercises that make you tense your abdomen. No heavy weightlifting, no aggressive sex, no straining to empty your bladder or bowels. If you have prostate problems or constipation, aggressive medications to alleviate those symptoms are required. Avoid nasal sprays or large amounts of red wine, as both will raise your blood pressure.

If your doctor has recommended surgery, it is not advisable to take a cruise or travel outside of regions where good medical care is easily accessible. There will be plenty of time for travel after the procedure. The most important advice is to relax! The stressful part is over. You know the situation and are well on your way to definitively dealing with the problem.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.